John Moskwa

Professor Emeritus, Vilas Scholar, Director: Powertrain Control Research Laboratory (PCRL)


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Powertrain Consultation & Research LLC
4142 Nakoma Road
Madison, WI 53711

Ph: (608) 238-9896

Primary Affiliation:
Mechanical Engineering

Additional Affiliations:
Powertrain Control Research Laboratory

Profile Summary

Dr. Moskwa is the founding Director of the Powertrain Control Research Laboratory (PCRL DynoLab & SimLab). The introduction of this program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1989 broadened the curriculum and research programs in Mechanical Engineering, by adding a research program and courses in the analysis, design and control of entire engine and powertrain systems. PCRL members have developed nonlinear engine system diagnostic techniques based on nonlinear observers for engine cylinder heat release and combustion quality identification, as well as pioneer the use of 'synthetic' engine variables to simplify engine diagnostic and control strategy and improve combustion quality diagnostics. His research group does work in diesel after-treatment system control and diagnostics, as well as variable cam timing and cam-less engine control, modeling, and dynamic observer development. 

The PCRL DynoLab group has designed and developed some of the most advanced high bandwidth Hardware-in-the-Loop (H-I-L) engine test systems in the world for transient automotive engine research. Both single-cylinder and multi-cylinder engine transient test systems are operational in PCRL, and several other groups have replicated the PCRL designs because of their unique capabilities. Other advanced tools in the lab include highly flexible engine control systems for strategy research, and fast-FID, fast-CLD and other analyzers for transient control and emission research.   

The PCRL SimLab has developed detailed dynamic engine models for the National Advanced Driving Simulator, several engine and full dynamic powertrain models (e.g., M916, M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley, and HMMWV) for the US Army's Automotive Research Center located at the University of Michigan. These "virtual engine/powertrain" models are used throughout the world (e.g., USA, Japan, India, Taiwan, Columbia, Korea, Sweden, Italy).

Professor Moskwa founded (1991), and was the first Faculty Advisor (1991-93) of the UW College of Engineering's Hybrid Electric Vehicle (H.E.V.) program and Team Paradigm. This is the largest student project program in the College's history, and continues to have good success. Dr. Moskwa was also a member of the faculty team that started and developed both the innovative EPD160 course (Introduction to Engineering) and the Teaching Improvement Program (T.I.P.) in the College of Engineering.

Professor Moskwa consults widely for the engine and powertrain industry with most of the largest domestic and international manufacturers of engines and powertrain systems, and has served as both consulting and testifying expert in numerous Federal and State litigations, in interference hearings, Ex Parte Reexaminations (EPRs) and Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) within the US Patent and Trademark Office, in patent litigations before the International Trade Commission (ITC), and in criminal litigations in the U.S. Department of Justice. He teaches senior and graduate courses in powertrain systems, engine systems and control, vehicle design and dynamics, classical, multivariable and nonlinear controls, thermodynamics, and dynamic systems. Dr. Moskwa is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), he is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, International (SAE), and he is a Senior Member the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Professor Moskwa is President of Powertrain Consultation & Research, LLC, an engineering consulting company based in Madison Wisconsin.

Dr. Moskwa is also an accomplished musician. He studied music theory and performance (Trumpet) at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra [Lenox, MA], and at the Cleveland Institute of Music [Cleveland, OH]. He has performed professionally with several symphony orchestras in the United States, Europe and Mexico, and was principal trumpet under conductor James Levine in Cleveland (Mr. Levine is currently Music Director Emeriturs of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, after conducting and directing that organization for 40 years, and former Music Director and conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra). Professor Moskwa also played principal trumpet under Dr. Harry Begian and Dr. Federick Fennell. His trumpet teachers include James Tamburini and Alvin Belknap (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Armando Ghitalla and Roger Voisin (Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Bernard Adelstein (Cleveland Orchestra).

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